Janet Mock’s Redefining Realness: A Review

redefining realness-janet mock

I just finished reading Janet Mock’s, Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More, and I can’t recommend it enough. I was so engrossed by Janet’s story that I skipped precious hours of sleep to finish it. Janet Mock, as you can guess by the title, serves up a healthy dose of realness. She describes growing up in Hawaii and the mainland, watching both of her parents struggle with drug addiction, sexual assault, sex work, and navigating her identity as a trans* woman in relationships with others and herself.

Mock combines her story with a healthy dose of education for people who might be unaware of structural inequality affecting the trans* community, especially trans* women of color. She opens the book with a description of terms that is incredibly useful, and provides statistics on violence, access to healthcare, and more. She provides insight on relevant trans* issues while brilliantly weaving in quotes from Audre Lorde, Zora Neale Hurston, and other powerful women of color. Her story is bookended by her love story with her current partner, Aaron.

Janet Mock’s story is one that everyone should read. She presents herself openly, and makes it very clear that she does not speak for an entire community. She does not pretend that experiences of black women, trans* women, and/or poor women are monolithic. She is so real. She will make you laugh and cry, and along the way, you’ll learn a thing or two.

Show, Janet Mock some love, and go buy her wonderful book.

Share Your Thoughts